With the Met Police’s announcement yesterday, a dark tale of feline murder appears to have come to an end.

Since 2015, Croydon has lived in fear of a shadowy cat killer, an anonymous assailant who stalked the night in pursuit of prey.

But a near three-year long investigation has finally concluded that no such killer exists.

According to police, the deaths were caused by car collisions, and the mutilation by scavenging foxes.

The Croydon Guardian first became aware of the ripper-like figure in October 2015, when Ukiyo, a four-year-old ragdoll cat, was dumped "in pieces" on the doorstep of his owner's neighbour in Addiscombe:


Your Local Guardian:


As further incidents of death and mutilation were reported, fears escalated and, with a pattern of behaviour apparently emerging, an urban legend was born.

Time and time again unfortunate felines were found dead having suffered substantial disfigurement, often losing body parts.

There were reports of missing heads, tails and paws, not to mention disembowelment.

The killer was thought to act alone, striking at night in built-up residential areas. After luring in his prey with chicken, he would club them over the head before dismembering them.

Unable to ignore the spooky bloodshed, in November 2015 the Met Police launched Operation Tahake, an investigation conducted in collaboration with the RSPCA and South Norwood Animal Rescue Liberty (SNARL), a local rescue charity.

As the incidents piled up, traumatised residents could only speculate about the character and motivations of whoever, or whatever, lay behind the deaths.

Owners of a cat decapitated in early 2016 suspected the killer’s motivations were sexual:


In August 2016, the RSCPA dismissed theories that the killer was an alien, sent from space to terrorise Croydon:


Your Local Guardian:

The RSCPA dismissed alien involvement 

Although certain theories stretched the bounds of believability, the rising death toll couldn’t be ignored.

Fears spread to surrounding areas, as the killer appeared to be widening his net, with a Twickenham family reporting the death of their moggie Charlie in December 2017:


Your Local Guardian:


Police operations continued into 2018, as News Shopper revealed that one detective sergeant, four detective constables and 10 police constables remained dedicated to Operation Tahake:


As recently as July, SNARL addressed the Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Board, telling them that up to five deaths a week were being caused by the ‘killer’:


While the police’s announcement this week may spell the end of investigations, questions remain among cat owners.

Many locals have dismissed the findings, claiming that only a human being was capable of the degree of violence demonstrated in the killings.

Danielle Hickson, a Caterham cat lover, launched a petition calling for the investigation to be re-opened yesterday, rubbishing the theory that car collisions and foxes were to blame.


Your Local Guardian:

Danielle Hickson with her cat Caspar 

SNARL has defiantly vowed to continue its investigations, arguing that the calculated nature of the attacks can only be explained by human involvement.

As long as violent cat deaths continue, it is hard to see the legend of the Croydon Cat Killer disappearing any time soon.